Having visited Thailand for two weeks does not mean that we’ve been out of business. Far from it! Here’s a little bit on what we are preparing to launch in the coming months. New innovations that will push the frontiers of Craft Distilling some more! And we’ll share them (well, most of them) in this iStill Blog post …
New iStill Robot
We have just finished testing the new iStill Robot. What’s new? New is that it is both faster to react (5 times faster!) and that it has the ability to anticipate. Pre-cog functionality, so to speak, meaning the robot does not have to close, but anticipates changes in performance and purity and – before breaching treshold – intervenes. An altogether amazing step forward!
What that means in terms of performance? An increase in production capability. A shortening in run-time by around 15 to 25 minutes per distillation run. A robot that allows us to start design and program logarithms to learn and adapt, so as to make the same product better, with more ease, and faster, time and again.
The new iStill Robot will be fitted on all iStills that leave our factory from January first onwards. It can also be retrofitted on existing models for the price of EUR 2.000,-. The upgrade includes the robot as well as current and future optimizing firmware.
If you want to order one for your existing iStill, please reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org. Orders will be taken from now onwards.
We already see whatever happens inside the iStill at a 0.1 degree Celsius resolution. But what if we could look at the actual molecular make-up of the drinks you produce? Light spectrometry may get us there. We are currently investigating how this technology can help us out (help you out) making real-time analysis of what you produce. If all goes as the iStill Team envisions it, soon we’ll be able to add a whole new dimension to distilling. A new dimension that is based on actual molecular count and make-up of your drink. Think acetone, methanol, ethyl acetate, ethanol, propanol, butanol, furfural, and water molecular composition of your drink. And ways of influencing what you get over!
Status? Currently, we are doing first tests on this. Release date? Second half of 2018, as far as today’s estimates go. It will be an inline system. Coupled to our advanced iStill PLC. To be ordered on new iStills or to be retrofitted, to fit on existing models.
We now offer a new generation of ATEX Certified iStill heaters and ATEX Certified iStill Jet Propulsion Agitators. The additional price for EX Certified is EUR 1.000,- per heater and EUR 2.000,- for the EX Jet Propulsion Agitator. These new heaters and agitator engines can be ordered as of right now. Or retrofitted on existing iStills.
Let’s start with an Odin one-liner: “Vacuum distilling sucks!” Why? Because vacuum distilling brings boiling points down. And the more boiling points are brought down … the more they group together. What that means for the Craft Distiller using vacuum distilling? Well, that cutting for heads, hearts, and tails becomes more difficult.
“So … why boast about developing it, Odin?” Good question. Here is the answer: because I see two practical applications for it. The first one is on stripping runs: when stripping a rum or whisky wash. The lower the intrinsic pressure, the lower the boiling points. And the lower the boiling points, the less energy it costs to strip. Secondly, vacuum distillation could help our gin distillers out. Distilling at lower temperatures will make (boiler infused) runs last longer.
Other applications? How about low energy input mashing? Imagine cooking the crap out of your corn at 70C instead of 100C …
I don’t believe in hard vacuum. We’ll go for a mild vacuum. A reduction in running costs by around 30 to 40%. And I think my chief chemist and I have come up with a nice and uncomplicated solution, where we use water pressure from the cooling system, to invoke the vacuum levels we aim for …
The status of this project is that we did first tests on a laboratory scale. It proved that we can easily bring the boiling point of water down from 100C to 70C.
Our internet guru Christiaan leads the newly designed iStill website! It will be more user experience oriented and uses 3d photo realistic images in (for instance) the iStill Design Center.
The new website will also be “fully responsive”, meaning that it can also be fully usable on mobile devices. That’s important because 40% of you visit us via smartphone or tablet.
Load times will be 10 times faster as well, with a load time of below 0.2 seconds per page. And there will be an interactive FAQ and better support, via specification sheets and more.
Planning? The new website will get a “go” (or so is the goal) on Monday’s iStill MT meeting. Next step is that it will be tested by our iStill Wizards in the coming week. We aim to bring our new website online for you to see and use in just two to three weeks from now.
And so much more!
This is just the top of the iceberg. We are working on many new innovations. Some will see the light of day, others probably won’t. That’s the way it works with innovations, right? The ones that eventually help make your life as a Craft Distiller easier are the ones we’ll bring to the market place. And the ones that don’t make as much impact as we hoped they would, well, we either keep on improving on them or discard them altogether.